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Eminem - The Eminem Show

Eclectic Album of the Year

The following was originally published in our Reviews section. 

Review by Dan Grote

Just when you thought it was safe… no, wait, you’re still safe. America’s most controversial white rapper returns to light a fire under the summer with The Eminem Show, but in truth he’s just releasing another album about how he hates his mother and ex-wife and loves his daughter while recounting his numerous beefs and cursing a lot. 

Dr. Dre is still on board as executive producer, but the hip-hop mastermind has spiced up Em’s repertoire with some rock riffs alongside the usual synth beats, including a sample of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” on “Sing for the Moment.” Eminem’s attempts to stop singing about his mother (“Cleaning out My Closet”) open the floor for songs about how passionate he is about his music (“When the Music Stops,” “Till I Collapse”). On the same token, The Eminem Show also features more angry songs, i.e. the state-of-the-rapper address “White America” and “Say What You Say.” 

Of course, there is also the uber-catchy lead single, “Without Me,” whereupon the rapper egotistically welcomes himself back to the game, proclaiming, “it feels so empty without me.” “Without Me” follows “Drips,” wherein Eminem gives mic time to his more crude than shocking D12 pals. Other guests on the album include Dre’s fellow West Coast alumni Nate Dogg and Xzibit.

Also featured on The Eminem Show is daughter Hallie Jade Mathers, who sings the chorus on “My Dad’s Gone Crazy,” marking her first vocal appearance since the early “’97 Bonnie and Clyde (Just the Two of Us).” “’Crazy” is one of the best songs on the album, as Em’s rhymes start to show signs of evolving as opposed to simply baring the burdens of past beefs.

VERDICT: It’s hard to stay controversial when you rap about the same things from album to album, and after a song like “Kim” from 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP, anything Eminem could do from here on will most likely be rather tame by comparison. There are few signs of upping the ante, just more of Eminem dealing with his own hype. There is an early crest with “White America,” one in the middle with “Without Me,” and a final, sharper peak with “My Dad’s Gone Crazy,” but don’t expect The Eminem Show to make the waves its predecessor did.


CD Info 

Eminem - The Eminem Show
Label: Aftermath/Interscope Records
Rating: 
 
Tracks:
Curtains Up - (skit) 
White America 
Business 
Cleanin Out My Closet 
Square Dance 
The Kiss - (skit) 
Soldier 
Say Goodbye Hollywood 
Drips - (featuring Obie Trice) 
Without Me 
Paul Rosenberg - (skit) 
Sing For The Moment 
Superman - (featuring Dina Rae) 
Hailie's Song 
Steve Berman - (skit) 
When The Music Stops 
Say What You Say - (featuring Dr. Dre) 
'Till I Collapse - (featuring Nate Dogg) 
My Dad's Gone Crazy 
Curtains Close - (skit)
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